STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Half Hour Feed STAH 910
Friday March 19, 2010, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 1014, 1015, 1016, 1017


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.

"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 10-14 / 1687th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/5/2010 through
Sunday 4/11/2010

"Cosmic Night Of The IRS : A Crescent Moon Visits Mercury! Plus Venus Begins A Trip To The Seven Sisters"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Throughout this week and next you'll have the wonderful opportunity of seeing the two planets closest to the Sun, still very close to each other in early evening skies. Plus an exquisite crescent Moon will not only pay a visit to planet #1 on IRS night it will later pay a visit to the enchanting Seven Sisters. After which planet #2 will slowly ascend the heavens for its own meeting with the Seven Sisters. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Sunday April 11th 45 minutes after sunset facing west where the brightest thing you'll see will be the most brilliant planet of all, planet #2, 8,000 mile wide, Earth sized Venus named for the Roman goddess of love. And just below it and still very close after its super close meeting with Venus last weekend the smallest planet, planet #1, 3,000 mile wide Mercury named for the swift messenger of the gods and just above the two of them the very tiny star cluster, the Seven Sisters.

And now here's the game plan, if you go out every night and take a peak at the relationship of these three you'll notice that Mercury and Venus will steadily move a little farther apart from each other, Mercury descending to the horizon and Venus ascending up towards the Seven Sisters. Monday the 12th, Tuesday the 13th, Wednesday the 14th. But then on that most dreaded day on the calendar Thursday April 15th, IRS day, to help take some of the sting out of paying our taxes, the cosmos will present us with an exquisite picture of a slender sliver of a two day old crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a greyish black full Moon nestled within it hovering just above Mercury, a beautiful sight to the naked eye and in binoculars and through a small telescope.

And now here's where the really fun part comes in. You see because the Moon is so close to us it changes its place in the sky drastically from night to night whereas the planets and stars are so far away they move much slower in relation to us. So make a note of where the Moon is in respect to Mercury, Venus and the Seven Sisters on April 15th and then 24 hours later, voila! a slightly fatter Moon will have leapfrogged past Venus and will make another exquisite picture but this time with the Seven Sisters.

Don't miss these two nights, April 15th, the Moon and Mercury and April 16th the Moon and the Seven Sisters. After which the Moon will continue its leapfrogging around the heavens night after night while Venus slowly continues ascending and Mercury descending. And believe me your patience will be rewarded because ten days from April 15th on Sunday April 25th Venus will pay a beautiful visit to the Seven Sisters and huddle up right beside them, another perfect picture for the naked eye, binoculars or a small telescope.

But once again let me caution you that although these objects look close to each other they are indeed not. In fact on IRS night the Moon will be only 239,000 miles away, Mercury 67 million miles away, Venus 142 million miles away. But the Seven Sisters a whopping 2.4 quadrillion miles away. Wow! Keep looking up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-14 M

4/5/2010 thru 4/11/2010

"Cosmic Night Of The IRS : A Crescent Moon Visits Mercury! Plus Venus Begins A Trip To The Seven Sisters"

Horkheimer: On income tax day night Thursday April 15th the Moon will hover just above the smallest planet, 3,000 mile wide Mercury while the most brilliant planet, 8,000 mile wide, Earth sized, Venus looks on. On April 15th 45 minutes after sunset face west and a slender sliver of a crescent Moon will be suspended just above Mercury. And to complete the picture dazzling Venus will blaze above them. 24 hours later the Moon will have leapfrogged Venus and will be cuddled up right next to the tiny star cluster the Seven Sisters. Then 9 days later Venus itself will have ascended the heavens until it too hovers right next to them. So pay your taxes and then get thee outside to soak in the beauty of the cosmos. Keep looking up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.

Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Half Hour Feed STAH 910
Friday March 19, 2010, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 1014, 1015, 1016, 1017


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode #10-15 /1688th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/12/2010 through Sunday 4/18/2010

"Celebrate National Astronomy Day And If You Do It Right You'll See Several Planets And The Moon Close Up For Free"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Saturday April 24th is National Astronomy Day, which simply means that if you contact your nearest astronomy club, planetarium or science center you'll probably be told that they will be hosting all kinds of free events from safe sungazing to astro speakers, special things for the kiddies and of course free viewing of several planets and the Moon through telescopes at night, a wonderful way to get your kids and yourself started in the world's oldest hobby, stargazing. Let me elucidate.

O.K., we've got our skies set up Astronomy Day night Saturday April 24th an hour after sunset facing south where the brightest thing you'll see will be an 11 day old Moon. And although all such Moons are very bright and beautiful to the naked eye you'll be astonished at how much detail you can see through even the smallest telescope because the shadows created by the Sun on the mountains and craters are absolutely breathtaking. So be sure you ask your hosts to let you peak at the Moon on Astronomy Day night.

What's even better, though is what's parked right beside it because it is almost everyone's favorite planet other than planet Earth, the ringed wonder, Saturn. And if you look at it through a small telescope you'll see that at this particular time in Saturn's orbit its rings appear tilted almost edge on to us. Plus you may even see a tiny bright light near it which is Saturn's largest Moon Titan which our Cassini spacecraft recently visited and sent back spectacular pictures. And think of this, while our Moon is 2,000 miles wide Titan is almost one and a half times bigger 3,200 miles wide, whereas Saturn is a whopping 75,000 miles wide! So for Saturn and Titan to appear as small as they do from Earth, they must be much farther away. And such is the case. indeed, on Astronomy Day night the Moon will be only 225,000 miles away while Saturn and Titan will be a whopping 806 million miles away. Wow!

Next ask your hosts to show you Mars which is on the other side of the Moon. You won't see much detail because it is now so far away and is in fact only twice as large as our Moon being 4,000 miles wide. But you will see that it is a spherical ball just like our Earth and Moon.

And now the best for last. Simply look due west an hour after sunset and the most brilliant planet of them all, Earth sized 8,000 mile wide Venus will be blazing away and huddled up right next to the exquisite tiny star cluster called the Seven Sisters, which you absolutely must see, not only with the naked eye but also through a small telescope, but especially through binoculars. In fact my favorite view would be through binoculars. But if you miss this on Astronomy Day night, fear not, because Venus and the Seven Sisters will be even closer 24 hours later on Sunday the 25th.

So there you have it, a sky full of goodies to see on Astronomy Day night, preferably free through O.P.T.'s, other people's telescopes: Venus and the Seven Sisters, the red planet Mars, an exquisite Moon and ringed Saturn with its giant moon Titan. Keep looking up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-15 M

4/12/2010 thru 4/18/2010

"Celebrate National Astronomy Day And If You Do It Right You'll See Several Planets And The Moon Close Up For Free"

Horkheimer: Celebrate National Astronomy Day, Saturday April 24th, by taking your family to your nearest astronomy club, planetarium or science center to look at several planets through O.P.T.'s, other people's telescopes for free! An hour after sunset face south and an 11 day old Moon will bewitch you through a small telescope and beside it an even more enchanting ringed, 75,000 mile wide Saturn, including Saturn's 3,200 mile wide moon which is 1 1/2 times bigger than our own 2,000 mile wide Moon. To our Moon's right 4,000 mile wide Mars shines reddish, and due west dazzling 8,000 mile wide Venus hovers right next to the tiny star cluster, the Seven Sisters who will blow you away through a telescope. So take the family on a trip to the stars and planets on April 24th! Keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer




 


STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Half Hour Feed STAH 910
Friday March 19, 2010, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 1014, 1015, 1016, 1017


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 10-16 / 1684th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/19/2010 through Sunday 4/25/2010

"April Showers Bring May Flowers : An Easy Way To Find Two Cosmic Blooms Of Spring"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every April I like to remind you of how you can have fun with the Big Dipper in early evening because it is positioned in such a way that it gives credence to a very old folk saying. Plus it is so high above the horizon that it can be used to easily find two wonderful stars of spring. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night in April between the hours of 8 and 10 p.m. Looking due north where you'll see the Big Dipper almost directly above and just to the right of the North Star. Its cup pointed down in such a way that if it were filled full of water the water would be pouring out directly onto the ground below which gives celestial significance to that old saying, "April showers bring May flowers", because every April in early evening the biggest water dipper in the heavens is indeed positioned so that it is pouring its imaginary cosmic water onto the Earth below.

Plus because it's so high above the horizon it makes it very easy to use the three stars in the Dipper's handle as a finder to locate two wonderful stars of spring which are also blooming very high above the horizon. To find these celestial posies simply draw an imaginary line through the handle of the Big Dipper, extend it in the same curve or arc as the handle and as any good amateur astronomer will tell you, you'll arc to Arcturus, which means that that curved line will bump right into Arcturus the brightest star of Bootes the Herdsman.

Then if you extend that curve on from Arcturus you can quickly speed right on to Spica, the brightest star of Virgo the Virgin, another lovely cosmic springtime bloom. Once again using the handle and its curve, simply arc to Arcturus, pause for a few seconds, then speed on to Spica. What could be easier? And now that you've found them you might like to know that these are super blooms compared to our own local star flower the Sun. Indeed Spica is over 5 1/2 times the size of our Sun and is a much hotter star, so hot that it shines 5000 times brighter. Arcturus on the other hand is a whopping 70 times the size of our Sun but because it is cooler than Spica shines only 1200 times as bright as our Sun. Two pretty big cosmic blooms in our celestial spring garden, wouldn't you say?

But equally fascinating is comparing their distances away from us. Our Sun is so close that we see the light that left it only 8 1/3 minutes ago. So we say that our Sun is 8 1/3 light minutes away. Arcturus on the other hand is 37 light years away which means we see the light that left it 37 years ago in 1973, three years before America's Bicentennial. Spica however is seven times farther away than Arcturus, 263 light years away, which means we see the light that left it 263 years ago in 1747, 29 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Indeed when we look at our sun, Arcturus and Spica we see them each not as they exist now but as they existed some time in the past depending on their distance from us. Wow!

So get thee out between 8 and 10 p.m. find the Big Dipper as it rains down cosmic April showers for earthly May flowers, then arc to Arcturus, and speed on to Spica. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-16 M

4/19/2010 thru 4/25/2010

"April Showers Bring May Flowers : An Easy Way To Find Two Cosmic Blooms Of Spring"

Horkheimer: Every April it's time to play the Big Dipper game. Between 8 and 10 p.m. look north and the Big Dipper will be high above the North Star. If you use the Dipper's handle you can find two wonderful stars of spring. Simply draw an imaginary line through the handle in the same curve or arc and you'll arc to brilliant Arcturus. Extend that line and you will then speed on to Spica. Spica is 5 ? times the size of our Sun whereas Arcturus is over 70 times as big! Plus Arcturus is so far away we see the light that left it 37 years ago so we see it not as it exists now but as it existed in 1973. Spica however is so much farther away we see it as it existed 263 years ago in 1747, 29 years before the Declaration of Independence. Wow! So arc to Arcturus then speed on to Spica. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer




STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Half Hour Feed STAH 910
Friday March 19, 2010, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 1014, 1015, 1016, 1017


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.



"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 10-17 / 1690th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/26/2010 through Sunday 5/2/2010

"What You Know And What You Don't Know About The Most Famous Star In The Sky"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. If I asked you right now to name the brightest star in the night sky. What would you say? The North Star? Well if you did think again. If you said Sirius, you're right. Don't feel bad though because most people think the North Star is the brightest star even though there are more than 50 other stars visible to the naked eye which are even brighter. So why do so many people think the North Star is the brightest star? Well, probably because it's the most famous star because it's mentioned more often than any other star. Why? Well, its position in the sky is what makes it the most important and thus the most famous star. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up facing north any night during April and May between the hours of 8 and 10 your local time where you'll easily see the four stars which make up the Big Dipper's cup and the three stars which make up its handle. And once you've found the Big Dipper you can use it to find the North Star. Because all you have to do is take the two stars at the end of the cup which are called the pointer stars, mentally measure the distance between them and then shoot an imaginary arrow five and a half times that distance through them and that arrow will always land smack dab on the North Star. And once you've found it you'll notice that it is indeed not the brightest star in the heavens and is in fact no brighter than the two pointer stars we used to find it.

So why is it so important? Simple, #1 the North Star is always due north and #2 wherever you happen to be in the northern hemisphere it will always be the same number of degrees above the horizon as your latitude above the Earth's equator. So before the invention of the compass the North Star was extremely important to navigators and explorers to determine not only which direction was north but exactly how far north of the equator they were, a kind of ancient GPS. And wherever you are you can also use the North Star to determine where north is ­ and just how far north above the equator you are. How?

Well we measure the distance from the equator to the North Pole in degrees of latitude. The equator is 0 degrees and the North Pole is 90 degrees. We also measure the distance from any flat horizon to over head in degrees. O degrees is at the horizon, 90 degrees is overhead. So if you were at the North Pole tonight the North Star would appear 90 degrees above the horizon, directly over head. If you were in London however it would appear 52 degrees above the horizon, New York, 40 degrees, Miami, 25 degrees.

So to see how many degrees north you are above the equator first find the North Star above a flat horizon, then hold your fist out at arm's length. A fist will measure ten degrees. So one fist means you're 10 degrees above the equator and so on. Simple and fabulous. So just remember if you get lost at night simply look for the North Star because it will always be due north. And if it's not you're either south of the equator or on the wrong planet. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-17 M

4/26/2010 thru 5/2/2010

"What You Know And What You Don't Know About The Most Famous Star In The Sky"

Horkheimer: If someone asked you to name the brightest star would you say the North Star? Well guess again because there are 50 other stars which are brighter. So why is it so famous? Simple. You can use it to find directions because it is always due north, plus you can also use it to find how far you are above the equator geographically because it is always the same number of degrees above your horizon as your geographic latitude. London is 52 degrees above the equator, New York 40 degrees and Miami 25. To find it look for the Big Dipper, shoot an arrow through the two stars at the end of the cup and it will always land smack dab on the North Star. So if you're ever lost at night use it to find due north and how far you are above the Earth's equator. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer

 


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